Bottle Shop: French Rosé

In France, rosé is more than just a style of wine: it’s a way of life. Whether enjoyed overlooking the Riviera or in a tiny neighbourhood bistro, rosé is a staple of the enjoyment of food. And, man, do French winemakers know how to make a bottle blush. From an ethereal Provençal to a meaty Tavel, here are three excellent reasons to drink pink as fresh spring days develop into warm early-summer nights.

L’Ostal Cazes Rosé 2015

$14.95 (450809)

“Ostal” means “house” in the ancient Occitan language, and the price-to-quality ratio of this terrific wine makes it a slam-dunk for house rosé this spring. Using equal parts Grenache and Syrah grown in the Pays d’Oc region in south-central France, the grapes are pressed immediately at low temperatures for a barely-there blush. Starting off with a delicate nose of strawberries and flowers, it’s a dry, savoury wine with tart rhubarb flavours, a creamy texture and a hint of soft herbs on the finish. Sip on its own as an aperitif, or enjoy with a pre-dinner charcuterie platter.

Domaine Maby La Forcadière Tavel Rosé 2015

$18.95 (701318)

Tavel is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in the southern Rhône that basically means “Land of Big Pink”. This bruiser by Domaine Maby is made from a five-grape, Grenache-dominated blend grown on vines averaging 46-years-old. The colour is more red than pink, and the nose is a fruity mélange of red currants and candy apples. Peppery, full-bodied and intensely flavourful, it’s perfect for red wine drinkers who stick their nose up at rosé. Don’t over-chill, and serve in big glasses with planked salmon, roast duck or grilled lamb.

Saint Aix Rosé 2015

$22.95 (451906)

The vineyard for this delightful rosé is 420 metres above sea level in the Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, where the sun shines 300 days a year and the Mistral winds cool the vines. (Eighty-four percent of the wine produced in this region is rosé.) A haunting bouquet of apricot, raspberries and white flowers get things off on the right foot. On the palate, expect an elegant, bone-dry wine with an almost salty finish. It’s a little pricy by rosé standards, but worth every penny. Open with lighter fare such as salad Niçoise, cold shrimp or prosciutto-wrapped melon.

Bottle Shop: French Rosé
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